LNG plant footprints: compaction costs?

This data file tabulates the acreage footprints and peak worker counts at c20 recent LNG projects. It is interesting how these variables are likely to change over time, to lower costs and due to COVID.

International LNG occupies c50-acres per MTpa and 1,000 peak workers per MTpa of capacity. This means that largest facilities can have over 20,000 workers on site at any one time, which will be challenging amidst COVID.

US LNG projects have been smaller, at c30-acres per MTpa, as high-quality input gas requires less pre-processing; and worker counts are as much as 4x lower, due to phased, modular construction designs (see below).

FLNG is c20x more compact than typical international projects but and has the highest density of workers. Modules which typically have large exclusion zones are congested. This will require extremely cautious operation. It could impact economics, through higher costs and lower up-times.

In principle, smaller plants should achieve cost advantages over larger plants. To reap these benefits, we are excited by novel “liquefaction” technologies, which are also tabulated in the file.

LNG Process Technologies — an Overview

This file will give a helpful overview of the different process technologies, which are used in LNG liquefaction: APCI, APX (Exxon), Optimised Cascade (Conoco), Fluid Cascade (Equinor), DMR, SMR, PRICO (Golar) and MMLS (Shell, small-scale). For each one, we summarise how it works, advantages and disadvantages, plus typical train sizes, energy efficiencies, examples and involved-companies. We also touch on applicability for FLNG and small-scale LNG.

Floating LNG: do the costs work?

A 2.5MTpa Floating LNG vessel using the Golar/PRICO process would cost c$700/tpa, or $1.1/mcfe. A $2.5/mcf liquefaction-spread is therefore needed for a 10% return. The key economic risk is ‘uptime’. This file contains our workings; including cost-estimates across 17-categories, such as compressors, heat-exchangers, vessel-costs, et al. Costs are compared for smaller-scale and onshore plants in later tabs.

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.